It’s been a long road for the Snotty Nose Rez Kids from B.C.’s Haisla First Nation to the national and global stage.
Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce have developed a unique brand of hip-hop that brings attention to issues that affect Indigenous people in this country.
The duo will perform at Sunday’s Junos where their most recent album, Life After, is nominated for Contemporary Indigenous artist or group of the year.
Below is their interview with Daybreak North’s Matt Allen, edited for length and clarity.
What do the Juno nominations mean to you as artists?
Yung Trybez: It just means that the industry is recognizing the work that we’re putting in. First of all, we make music for ourselves, for our people, but this is just a little icing on the top, just to let us know that people are seeing the work that we’re doing on the same level that our peers are doing it.
For us, especially Indigenous kids coming from like a small reservation in northwest B.C., it means a lot and it means a lot to our community more than anything.
Daybreak North11:39Snotty Nose Rez Kids Juno bound
It’s a long journey to become an established artist.
Young D: That’s an understatement, my guy.
What’s that journey been like?
Young D: It’s cool. It’s just enjoying the process, you know what I mean? We started out doing open mics and those open mics turned into putting on our own shows where we’re setting up the sound gear by ourselves and we’re shutting down the venue by ourselves and packing the sound gear. Just to see it slowly evolve over time has been like, I don’t want to say like a long movie montage, but yeah, it’s been like that.
The recording of your latest album, Life After? involved a lot of experimentation.
Yung Trybez: A lot of it, too, comes from just the pandemic and just having a lot of highs and lows and a lot of doubt and a lot of just borderline depression, just weird thoughts going through our heads, in our mind-space and in our creative space that we weren’t really used to having.
How has the national conversation around residential schools affected you as artists?
Young D: It was just that harsh reminder of what some of our parents went through and aunties and uncles and especially our grandparents, what they went through and so on and so forth.
It definitely took a toll on all of us and we took the time that we needed to process everything and it’s like, all right, this is how we’re going to go about it creatively. And you hear a lot of it on Life After.
What goes through your mind as you are set to perform at the Junos?
Yung Trybez: It’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of nerves going into those awards shows because you never know who’s gonna be called, if your name is gonna be called. So with this, we have control over the fact that we can go up on that stage and do our thing and have our moment to shine. So for us, just having control over that situation is huge. And I feel a lot of confidence has to go into something like that, a lot of prep, a lot of practice. So it just makes us feel comfortable about going to the Junos.